Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chiricahua National Monument

After saying goodbye to my grandparents, we headed off to Chiricahua National Monument.  I gotta tell you, my desire to see National Parks and Monuments really paid off with Chiricahua.  It's out of the way so you're not just going to 'come across it' and even knowing how far away it was, we still were like, "did we miss a turn off?"

After arriving, we went for a trail run (which is where the first couple of pictures came from), and then did a long hike the second day.

Chiricahua was formed by an old volcano spewing ash all over and hardening into rhyolite; the elements have been at work ever since.  It's also a location where you can see coati mundi - I'm sad that I didn't see any - though we did have Arizona Whitetail deer walk through our campsite.

Camel Rock.

Duck Rock

"Wall Street"

Intriguing rock formation

chin on the left, forehead on the right - looking up at the sky

"organ pipe" formation

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Canoa Ranch & Tumacacori

My grandpa volunteers at a place called Canoa Ranch down the highway from their house. The work is hard, but he loves it. On our last full day we were in town, we went on a tour of the ranch.  Fun fact: the daughter of the guy who is in charge of restoration is a cop here in Austin.

Standing on the drive over the little creek.  This creek caused the place to flood a couple of times back in the day which ended up limiting the use of the ranch some times.

Grandpa showing off his tools.  All of the tools here (except for one axe) were owned by my grandpa.  We even played the "what is this tool used for?" game that we used to do when I was growing up.  Once I explained to Richard (the guy in the green shirt) that this was a normal game and Grandpa would wait until we made at least a few guesses, he got into the game as well.  The tool we were actually talking about were some gloves with curved spikes in the middle of the palm.  Any ideas what they were used for?  How about corn shucking?

Gate to one of the pens.

Retaque fence.  These fences were made like this to keep wild Brahma Bulls from getting out of the pens.  With 3 pens (that we saw) with this type of fencing, it must have taken forever to build them.  There are 12" diameter metal poles around the pens, the theory is that the owner at the time also worked for water district - 12" pipes are a common size to use for water and sewer pipes and some question how the owner managed to find all those pipes for so cheap.  There are 57 pipes around the ranch; my grandpa painted every single one of them green (you can see it on the right).

Gate - with nifty engineered latch at the top so the cowboys didn't even have to get off their horses to open gates.  The gates also opened like a dream considering how heavy they are.

Planter box at one of the houses.

Screened patio at the main house

See the funny shaped spindle in the middle?  I thought it was from termites, but the guide said it actually was from a puppy chewing on it back in the 60s.

A view to the southeast from the house

Tumacacori -

After leaving Canoa Ranch, we headed south  to Tumacacori.  I remember coming here back when I was in college 15 years ago - and I can tell you that the little informative video they have is exactly the same.

Agave & cacti garden

Agave Lophantha

Mill Stone


My favorite photo.  Quite possibly ever.

Walking to the old Mission building

The door

A view from the granary

In the cemetery

A good use of floodplain area.  That's the reason behind the fertile crescent, the reason why civilization followed the Nile, and there's such great farmland along the Mississippi.

Eating our fruit burritos at Wisdom's Cafe

Metal Yard art...maybe Bob at Draco will make one for you...

Another piece of yard art - an ocotillo in bloom.

A picture of one of the restaurants in Tubac.  Tubac is the oldest non-religious founded town in Arizona.
On the drive home.  My grandma made my grandpa pull over to the side of the highway so she could try to take a photo of the rainbow in the background with the saguaro.